SEEDLAND®
"Growing a Beautiful tomorrow!®
"
Search Seedland.com For Products:
  Lawnfertilizers.com - Turf fertilizers for lawns from Seedland.com!
 

Types of Soil & Soil Tests

Helping you fertilize properly.

Lawnfertilizers.com - An Informational Site From Seedland.com

Hello nature lover.....!
ORDER ONLINE
| PHONE ORDERS: PHONE

Phone Business hours - Mon-Fri.9-5 EST ONLY - Contact via Email

Hello nature lover.....!

Grass Choices | Diseases | Fertilizers | Irrigation | Mowing | Pests | Weeds | Home
Lawn Rates | Your Soil | Soil Tests | Symptoms | Lime & Sulfur | Ingredients

Bagged Cow Manure

Two important soil factors need to be considered when planting a lawn or any crop for that matter. These would be the ratio of the three types of soil you have and the pH  and nutrient level of your soil. Both of these factors can be determined through soil tests.

Soil Testing: Testing your soil is as important for the success rate of your lawn planting as anything you could do. To receive the best results and the most benefit for the time and money spent on your lawn endeavor, you simply should TEST. Just as a blood test indicates your deficiencies, soil tests provide the information that you need to grow. Tomatoes for example require a certain acidity to get that "farm fresh" taste.

Your local state or county extension offices are paid by the public to help in give you all kinds of information on how to take these samples and for a small charge they give you a detailed and most times written recommendations on the amounts needed to be added and suggested fertilization rates for houseplants to lawns to pastures and everything in between.

This test will provide you with information such as the pH of your lawns soil and the amount of various nutrients needed or in abundance in the soil. The laboratory can even recommend solutions if you provide the crop or grass type growing in your soil sample.

Make sure your test is from a wide range of your lawn's soil, by obtaining samples from all over your lawn area. This will provide a more complete picture of the health or deficiency of your soil -- Get a sample that is at least 6 inches in depth. Either use a core sampler (often loaned out by your extension agent) or take a hand trowel to dig a sample of soil from all depths.

Types of Soils - Composition & Texture

All soils are composed of a mixture of Clay, silt and sand... Your exact soil composition will most likely be described as a mixture of two or more of these components. Soil is a mixture of air, water and soil particles. For best growth of your grass this mixture must be the right balance. The texture of your soil is determined by the mix of the three basic soil components:

  • Sand - Soils with particle sizes ranging from 2.0 to .05 mm.
  • Silt - Soils with particle sizes ranging from .05 to .002 mm.
  • Clay: Soils with particles sizes smaller than .002 mm.

Loam - Loam is the ideal soil mixture, consisting of 40% Sand, 40% Silt and 20% Clay. A loam soil will seem crumbly, in comparison to a clay soil that is very tight. The best soils for grasses are loamy soils with a 40-60% sand component, a 20-30% clay and a 20-30% silt component. 

Organic Matter - Organic matter is plant and animal residues, soil organisms (microscopic), and living plant roots. Organic soil also includes humus matter which is highly decomposed organic material. Good lawn soils should have at lest 2% of organic soils. Organic soil matter helps your plants by supplying usable nutrients and nitrates for growth.  Organic matter also helps in establishing a soil with various crumb sizes (composed of 3 types of soil) of 1 to 3 mm.  This is the best soil structure in which air, nutrients and water can grow healthy grasses.

For lawn purposes your concern should be with how the soil makeup affects water drainage and air availability in the soil, more than fertility. You may need to improve sandy soils by adding organic matter (heavy soils) and clays or clay-loams. For a clay soil, you should add organic matter (light soils) and a sandy loam or sand. The organic matter may be materials such as peat, manure, old sawdust, straw, seed hulls and other materials. You should thoroughly mix the organic matter with your soil to a depth of 5-6 inches. You may need to add extra nitrogen if high quantities of organic matter are added so as to replace the nitrogen that will be utilized in decomposing these materials in your soil. Fertility can be improved through the addition of fertilizers and lime (sulfur if alkaline).

Testing Soil Composition & Texture

It is also important to know the texture of the soil you are planting. You can determine this yourself with this simple test below:

KITCHEN SOIL-TEST RECIPE: (yes gardening is like cooking)
This is a 2 day process:

1 quart jar
1 cup soil (air dried) 1 marker
1 teaspoon plain (non-sudsing) detergent
H2O - Water  (enough for 2/3 jar)
One child to help you do this correctly - if handy

Add all ingredients in the jar except your child:

(1): Give to your child assistant and tell her/him to shake hard for 2 minutes and let sit for 1 minute and mark the level that has settled to the bottom of your jar this is the sand.

(2): Let settle for another 2 hours and mark this level, This will be your silt level.

(3): Leave the last layer to settle for 2 days. Mark this level which will be your clay level .

Measure the individual levels and you can determine your percentage makeup of soil.

Loam is a 40/40/20 mix and is the ideal growing medium. Amendments can be added to make small areas more like the ideal with organic additions to top soils being added. Some sandier soils may need to be mulched to hold in moisture in seeding and after some plantings. Too much clay makes the soil too compact and will have to be loosened to let moisture and additives get to the roots.

Soil pH

The pH rating simply means how much acid (acidity) or alkaline (alkalinity) is present  - See our Sulfur & Lime page for detailed information on soil pH.

The pH range is 0-14.0 with 7.0 as the mid-point, meaning 1/2 acidity to 1/2 alkalinity. Each plant has a level it will tolerate, past that level the will look sickly and generally not grow at all in some situations. The basic pH test only gives the acidity/alkalinity level of the soil and is one of the easiest ways to improve the soil.

Liming raises soil pH and sulfur lowers soil pH - see Soil Tests & the use of Lime or Sulfur for detailed information.

Lawns: Choices | States | Diseases | Fertilizers | Irrigation | Mowing | Pests | Weeds

Lawnfertilizers.com Growing a beautiful tomorrow!®
Search Seedland For products:

Seedland seeds --- Growing a beautiful tomorrow!

© 1999-2012 Seedland ®, Inc. - All rights reserved.

Seedland Accepts Visa Seedland Accepts Mastercard  Seedland Accepts Discover CardSeedland Accepts American Express

USA Sales | Worldwide Sales | About us | Contact Seedland | Questions?
Guarantees | Seed tests | Quality Issues | Advertising | Exports | Commercial
Wholesale | Payment FAQ's | Privacy & Security | Accounting Questions

Lawns: Choices | States | Diseases | Fertilizers | Irrigation | Mowing | Pests | Weeds
HAVE LAWN QUESTIONS YOU NEED ANSWERED?
VISIT Turfhelp.com

Seedland.com

 


BUY
Fertilizer & New Lawn Starter

Online Now
At Seedland.com


SHOP ONLINE
FOR

Wildlife Food Plot Seeds



Shop for
WILDFLOWER SEED


Pasture & Forage Seeds

Lawn & Turf
Fertilizers

FOR NEW
& EXISTING
LAWNS!


BUY #1 RATED
Princess 77
BERMUDA LAWN
HYBRID SEED

Princess 77 Bermuda Grass Seed

Seed & Fertilizer Spreaders

Fertilizer & Seed Spreaders

ORDER YOUR
LAWN SEEDS
ONLINE
GRASS SEEDS



ORDER ONLINE
100's of Grass
 Seed Varieties

USA STATES
LAWN
SPECIES GUIDE

Alabama
Alaska

Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
D.C.
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Iowa
Idaho

Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Mass.
Maryland
Maine
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Mississippi
Montana
Nebraska

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
Nevada
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota

Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Vermont
Washington
Wisconsin
West Virginia
Wyoming